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Archive for the ‘Coffee Can Investing’ Category

Five Below (Five) Recovers in August and Offers a Buy Signal

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Five Below (Five) Recovers in August and Offers a Buy Signal

Five Below reported earnings in the past week which led to an upside break. Take a look at the following article for more details – What Five Below Wants Investors to Know. Also check out this article which discusses a recent price target upgrade from the Royal Bank of Canada – Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE) Shares Gap Up Following Analyst Upgrade.

There have been quite a few technical developments in FIVE over the last few weeks. To start, the stock was correcting lower from a high in late April and this decline was contained within a descending trend channel. There was an upside break of this channel after the earnings report in the past week which offers a bullish signal. The stock has regained its 50 and 200-day moving averages which is also very positive. On a monthly chart, FIVE has posted a reversal candlestick pattern as it closed in the green in August to snap a prior three consecutive month decline.

FIVE Chart September 2019

FIVE Chart September 2019

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for FIVE, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open FIVE 04OCT19 117 Puts (FIVE191004P117)
Sell To Open FIVE 04OCT19 122 Puts (FIVE191004P122) for a credit of $1.85 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when FIVE was trading near $123.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $182.50 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $317.50 ($500 – $182.50).  If FIVE closes at any price above $122 on October 4, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 57% (650% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

IBD Underlying Updates August 29, 2019

IBD Underlying Updates August 29, 2019

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Ulta Beauty (ULTA) Looks Poised to Break to Fresh Record Highs

Monday, August 12th, 2019

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Ulta Beauty (ULTA) Looks Poised to Break to Fresh Record Highs

Several analysts are optimistic regarding Ulta Beauty’s stock price following their recent earnings surprise, here are two of them –  Why the Earnings Surprise Streak Could Continue for Ulta (ULTA) and How one retailer is beating the odds.

From a technical standpoint, ULTA has held above prior support near $330 and bounced higher. In the advance from the level, it has retaken both the 50 and 100-day moving averages. What’s most impressive about ULTA is the longer-run trend as the stock is up more than 40% YTD already. Considering the strong trend, and lack of bearish evidence, the path seems to be to the upside for ULTA with an aim of breaking to new record highs above $370.

ULTA Chart August 2019 Verticle Spread

ULTA Chart August 2019

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for ULTA, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open ULTA 13Sep19 342.5 Puts (ULTA190913P342.5)
Sell To Open ULTA 13Aug19 345 Puts (ULTA190913P345) for a credit of $1.13 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ULTA was trading near $347.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $110.50 and your broker would charge a $250 maintenance fee, making your investment $139.50 ($250 – $110.50).  If ULTA closes at any price above $345 on August 13, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 79% (901% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

IBD Underlying Updates August 8, 2019 Trade Ideas

IBD Underlying Updates August 8, 2019

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Consider Essent Group (ESNT) Following Their Earnings Report

Monday, August 5th, 2019

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Consider Essent Group (ESNT) Following Their Earnings Report

ESNT reported earnings in the past week and despite an early day dip, the stock managed to close higher on the day. The following article provides a view on why the stock could continue higher – 2 Stocks Poised to Thrive in Volatile Times: Essent Group Ltd., Cognex Corporation. Also take a look at this article which discusses the earnings report and the declaration of a new dividend – Essent Group Ltd. Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results & Declares Inaugural Dividend.

There are two significant things going for ESNT from a technical perspective. First, the stock dipped below major support at $45.38 on Friday but managed to close above it. This has resulted in a hammer candle which is a popular candlestick that signals the potential for a reversal. This pattern is not just seen on a daily chart, it is also present on a weekly chart and even on a 4-hour chart. The horizontal level is considered significant as it triggered a major turn last year and as it has acted as support in recent months. The fact that the candlestick pattern printed above such a significant level strengthens it. The other thing going for the stock is that it managed to close higher despite an overall heavy tone in the markets on Friday. This divergence is quite important as the markets look a bit heavy following the price action in the past week.

ESNT Chart August 2019 verticle options spread

ESNT Chart August 2019

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for ESNT, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next seven weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open ESNT 20SEP19 40 Puts (ESNT190920P40)
Sell To Open ESNT 20SEP19 45 Puts (ESNT190920P45) for a credit of $1.68 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ESNT was trading near $46.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $165.50 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $334.50 ($500 – $165.50).  If ESNT closes at any price above $45 on September 20, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 49% (389% annualized).

IBD Underlying Updates August 1, 2019 via Terry's Tips

IBD Underlying Updates August 1, 2019

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

PayPal (PYPL) Dips Following Earnings, What’s Next?

Monday, July 29th, 2019

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

PayPal (PYPL) Dips Following Earnings, What’s Next?

PayPal slipped lower after reporting earnings in the past week. Take a look at what these analysts are saying about the stock post-earnings – PayPal Q2 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Up Y/Y and PayPal’s Earnings May Have Disappointed but Its Chart is “BTF”.

Paypal dipped to the 50-day moving average on Thursday and held above the moving average on Friday. The stock trades at a confluence of support as there is also a horizontal level in play. The level comes in at $113.70 and acted as both resistance and support in the past. In the event the stock falls to hold here, there is further support from the 100-day moving average close to around $112.

PYPL Chart July 2019 vertical options spread after earnings announcement

PYPL Chart July 2019

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for PYPL, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open PYPL 30AUG19 112 Puts (PYPL190830P112)
Sell To Open PYPL 30AUG19 115 Puts (PYPL190830P115) for a credit of $1.45 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when PYPL was trading near $115.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $142.50 and your broker would charge a $300 maintenance fee, making your investment $157.50 ($300 – $142.50).  If PYPL closes at any price above $115 on August 30, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 90% (1027% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

IBD Underlying Updates July 25, 2019 weekly trade ideas

IBD Underlying Updates July 25, 2019

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Can The Trade Desk (TTD) Continue the Upward Momentum Into Earnings?

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Can The Trade Desk (TTD) Continue the Upward Momentum Into Earnings?

TTD has had a spectacular gain in the first half of the year, check out this article which outlines four reasons why it could continue higher – Is The Trade Desk a Buy?. Also take a look at this article published by Zack’s – The Trade Desk Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know.

From a technical perspective, TTD is testing a horizontal level that had acted as resistance in May. Just below it, there is some further support from the 50-day moving average. So far, the decline from the top in early June has not had a lot of momentum behind it. This combined with the hold above the mentioned moving average signals that the broader trend remains firmly to the upside.

TTD Chart July 2019 verticle stock options spread

TTD Chart July 2019

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for TTD, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next three weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open TTD 09AUG19 230 Puts (TTD190809P230)
Sell To Open TTD 09AUG19 235 Puts (TTD190809P235) for a credit of $2.48 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when TTD was trading near $235.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $245.50 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $254.50 ($500 – $245.50).  If TTD closes at any price above $235 on August 9, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 96% (1947% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

IBD Underlying Updates July 18, 2019 Terry's Tips

IBD Underlying Updates July 18, 2019

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Ulta Beauty (ULTA) Nears Record Highs, Will it Break Upward?

Monday, July 15th, 2019

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Ulta Beauty (ULTA) Nears Record Highs, Will it Break Upward?

After an impressive run in the first half of the year, several analysts still see the potential for further upside in ULTA. Take a look at what these analysts have to say – Ulta Beauty – Consensus Indicates Potential 4.2% Upside and Why Ulta Beauty Stock Gained 42% So Far in 2019.

ULTA is actually seen approaching a significant resistance level at $359. There are a few indicators that suggest that the stock will break higher from here. First, the stock posted a bullish engulfing candle in the past week. This momentum seems to suggest that ULTA is ready to continue rallying. Second, the stock held above an important support level in May that is found at $315. That level held the stock lower in 2017 and 2018. The strong presence of buyers and the steady bid from the level shows that the stock is well in demand. Lastly, when a stock lingers around a resistance level without a strong show of selling, it usually suggests an upward break. Especially when there is a strong trend in place as is the case for ULTA.

ULTA Chart July 2019 verticle spread

ULTA Chart July 2019

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for ULTA, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open ULTA 16AUG19 350 Puts (ULTA190816P350)
Sell To Open ULTA 16AUG19 355 Puts (ULTA190816P355) for a credit of $2.03 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ULTA was trading near $356.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $200.50 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $299.50 ($500 – $200.50).  If ULTA closes at any price above $355 on August 16, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 67% (764% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

IBD Underlying Updates July 11, 2019 Weekly Trade Ideas

IBD Underlying Updates July 11, 2019

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Will Monster Beverage (MNST) Continue to Rally Into Earnings?

Monday, July 8th, 2019

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Will Monster Beverage (MNST) Continue to Rally Into Earnings?

Zack’s recently published an article outlining reasons why they believe Monster Beverage is a good investment. Take a look at the article here – Here’s Why Monster Beverage is a Hot Investment Pick. Also, take a look at the following article which discusses the involvement of hedge funds in the stock – Did Hedge Funds Drop the Ball on Monster Beverage?

MNST is testing some resistance found at $66.25 but the recent price action appears to show strength. Indeed, the horizontal level has been holding sellers, but each decline from the level has become increasingly narrow which often is indicative of breakout potential. So far, the stock has tested the level three times. Triple tops are rare, especially in strong uptrends like the one MSNT has been experiencing as of late.

MNST Chart July 2019 Terry's Tips Weekly Trade Idea

MNST Chart July 2019

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for MNST, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, at least a little bit.

Buy To Open MNST 09AUG19 63 Puts (MNST190809P63)
Sell To Open MNST 09AUG19 66 Puts (MNST190809P66) for a credit of $1.12 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MNST was trading near $66.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $109.50 and your broker would charge a $300 maintenance fee, making your investment $190.50 ($300 – $109.50).  If MNST closes at any price above $66 on August 09, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 57% (650% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

IBD Underlying Updates July 4, 2019 Terry's Tips Weekly Trade Idea

IBD Underlying Updates July 4, 2019

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

How to Pick the Best Mutual Fund for Your IRA or 401(K)

Monday, August 11th, 2014

How to Pick the Best Mutual Fund for Your IRA or 401(K)

If you are a participant in a typical 401(k) plan, you face a list of 18 mutual funds to choose from.   If you set up your own IRA plan, the list grows to over 4000 funds in the universe.  Most people don’t have the foggiest notion of which fund choice is the best for them.  The answer is actually quite simple, if you understand a few essential truths.

Before you get to the mutual fund choice, you may have an even more important decision to make. It involves the kind of IRA you pick.  The Roth IRA is an infinitely better choice than the traditional IRA.  You forego a tax deduction in year one but you avoid paying ordinary income taxes every year you withdraw money during your retirement years when the amounts you withdraw are greater and the tax rate you pay is likely to be higher than during that first year (the government ultimately will be forced to raise rates to pay for social security and the interest on the federal debt).

The Roth IRA is such a good deal for you and such a bad deal for the government that they severely limit how much you can contribute ($5500 a year or $6500 if you are over 50), and if you make over $127,000 as a single or $188,000 as a couple, you can’t contribute at all.  If you qualify, choosing a Roth IRA over a traditional IRA is a no-brainer.  After five years and you reach 59 ½, there are no restrictions when (and if) you withdraw money while your nest egg continues to grow tax-free, including the dividends.

Astonishingly, in spite of the considerable advantages of Roth IRA’s, only 2% of all IRA investments are in Roth IRAs.  That is an unbelievable number to me. I just don’t understand how so many millions of Americans have made the absolutely wrong choice for themselves.  Of course, they also drop millions of dollars every day at the casinos, knowing full well that the house will win every time over the long run.  So I guess we should not expect them to be very smart about their IRA choice, either.  But it is a sad fact for me.

If your company’s 401(k) plan does not offer a Roth IRA alternative, speak to HR and ask them to get it in there.  Your fellow employees, and you, deserve it.

Once you have selected the Roth IRA alternative (if it indeed is a choice for you), you face the mutual fund choice challenge.  Why do you suppose that the average 401(k) plan has 18 choices?  That seems to be a fairly large number to choose from.  Surely, your company could figure out the three or four best choices out there and restrict your choices to those.  That would be offering a real service to anyone who lacks the financial education or experience to make that kind of important choice for their future livelihood.

Sadly, apparently the biggest reason that many companies offer a large number of mutual fund choices in their 401(k) plan is to avoid a lawsuit.  Class action suits have (successfully) been brought by employees of many companies against their employees because mutual fund choices were more beneficial to the mutual fund companies and just awful for the employees.  The courts have sided with the companies when a large number of mutual fund choices were offered (“it was the employees who decided to pick those bad ones – they had a better choice but did not take it” was the reasoning).

In a perfectly just world, the companies would also be required to provide more information to employees as to which the best choices would be for their employees. But as we all know, our world is far from perfect.

Fortunately, there is a best choice, and it is definitely not the most popular one.  The most popular choice is the target-date funds.  They make intuitively good sense.  You know the approximate year when you expect to retire, and you just select that date fund.  More than 40% of 401(k) participants make that choice (and that number is projected to grow to 50% by 2020). 

The sad fact is that there is not a single 5-year period ever when target-date funds have outperformed a low-cost broad-based index fund.  The only time when they have come close is when the stock market has crashed (since some of the target-date money is in fixed-income instruments, they do not fall quite as much as the overall market in market-crash years).  Over the last 5 years, target-date funds have lagged behind the market by 22% – 47% depending on the target date – truly monumental losses for all target-date fund owners.

Target-date funds underperform for two important reasons.  First, expense ratios (management fees) are higher, usually about three times as much as most index funds.  It doesn’t take a smart Wall Street MBA to pick the stocks in an index fund (rather, a fixed selection of stocks is blindly followed).  Consequently, the management fee can be much less for the index fund.

 Second, trading costs are usually two or three times as great in equity funds (especially target-date funds) compared to passive index funds.  The turnover rate can be 50% to 100% for many equity funds, running up considerable commission and trading costs that are passed on to participants (and generally not revealed to them). 

Even worse, this excessive turnover is subject to the completely hidden costs of high frequency trading which skims off millions of dollars for Wall Street every single trading day.  The big losers from high frequency trading are the owners of non-index equity mutual funds.

I have written a Kindle book that explores this entire issue in far more detail and tells you specifically exactly which fund you should choose for your 401(k) plan.  It is designed to be read in an hour (although two hours is probably a better time to allot).  I have immodestly called the book The Best Little Book on investing in an IRA or 401(k), Period! It is yours for only $5.99.  It could change everything you ever knew or were told about retirement investing.  If you have a single target-date or other non-index mutual fund in your investment portfolio, this small investment of your time and money could save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime.  Get it now, here.

The book includes one suggestion that is highly unlikely to have been disclosed to you by HR and is almost guaranteed to save you thousands in tax savings when you retire.  Why would any rational 401(k) participant not plunk down $5.99 to discover it?  Maybe because they are at the casino where they think they are more likely to come home with more money than they started out with.

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Success Stories

I have been trading the equity markets with many different strategies for over 40 years. Terry Allen's strategies have been the most consistent money makers for me. I used them during the 2008 melt-down, to earn over 50% annualized return, while all my neighbors were crying about their losses.

~ John Collins